A ‘Fable’, as every parent is aware, is a short story which helps illustrate particular morals to younger children. These stories, tales or parables are often humorous and entertaining for children of all ages, but also bear a strong message in their simple narrative.
The unpublished ‘Fable’ recently unearthed in Co. Tipperary
Dáil Éireann any given Friday.
“The weathermen at Dáil Éireann had assured our five elected Tipperary politicians that there was no chance of any rain falling over the coming weekend. So Matt, Al, Mick, Sham & Jacksie decided to take a well earned break, at the tax payers expense. They were to stay secretly at the €52.2 million Irish government purchased & refurbished, 78 acre, Irish State guest house, situated at Farmleigh, near Castleknock, Co Dublin.,
Although vulture fund free, it had been rumoured that the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA or Triple A) could quickly hand over this building to Dublin’s homeless, should they get their way, so this once in a lifetime weekend away opportunity was not to be missed.
Working their 3 day Dáil week, with no large funeral attendances expected in Co. Tipperary, which they needed to be spotted at; their intention was to go fly fishing on the estates boat lake, from Friday evening to Monday evening inclusive.
While checking their suit cases into the Steward’s Lodge, located in the grounds of Farmleigh, they met the chief gardener with his donkey. Upon seeing the Tipperary elected reps, the gardener, with bowed head and cap in hand, warned, “Distinguished Gentlemen, you should return to the guest house at once, for in just a short time I expect a huge deluge of rain to fall, mainly in this area”.
The politicians immediately shook hands with the simple gardener, but having considered his advice replied, “We hold the Dáil Éireann meteorologist service in high regard. Basically, unlike ourselves, they are extensively educated and an experienced group of true professionals. Besides, we pay them very high wages, and therefore it is only right that we place our trust in them and continue on to our fishing location”.
Ignoring the gardener, the politicians continued on their way, but alas sure enough within a short time later, torrential rain fell from the heavens, soaking our five elected representatives to the skin. Furious, the Tipp politicians returned to Dáil Éireann the following Tuesday morning and following a full independent enquiry, by the head of RTE, they ruled that all professional weathermen in the Lower House and principal chamber of the the Oireachtas (The Irish Legislature) be immediately fired with full pension entitlements.
Then they summoned the Farmleigh gardener and offered him the prestigious and high paying post of ‘Dáil Éireann Forecaster’. The simple gardener said “Sirs, you who wield such magnificent power over our country, I do not know anything about weather forecasting. I simply obtain my information from my dumb old donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that torrential rain will fall within the hour”.
So following the passing of a Clerical Officer Public Jobs assessment by the gardener and his donkey, the Tipperary politicians went on to hire both, on high pensionable wages.
So thus began the continuing practice of hiring unsackable ‘Dumb Asses and Consultants’ to work in Dáil Éireann; and the further practise of paying outrageous salaries to those who occupy the highest and most influential positions in that esteemed pile of stones which houses our countries elected reps.”
Hopefully this practice will continue to remain unbroken well into our countries immediate future.
December 2016 figures, shown hereunder and supplied by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show there were 11,521 people claiming social welfare benefits, of some kind, in Co Tipperary last month.
Live Register figures supplied below are categorised by ‘All Ages’, ‘Both Sexes’, ‘Social Welfare Office’ and ‘Month’ and when December 2016 figures are compared with the previous month November 2016, same show an increase in claimants of 330 persons for County Tipperary as a whole.
More depressing was the fact that the numbers signing-on increased at every single Social Welfare office in Co. Tipperary last month; the highest increase of 80 extra claimants being located in the Thurles Social Welfare Office area.
Of the 1,432 jobs announced/promised by former outgoing Government Tipperary Labour Minister Alan Kelly and Fine Gael, (700 for Nth Tipp & 692 for Sth Tipp – Total Jobs in all 1392), prior to the last General Election (February 26th, 2016) in what appears to have been a vote gathering exercise; not one single promised job has as yet materialised either North or South of the county.
Politicians representing all political parties in Co. Tipperary have spent their time being “Photographed with successful so called celebrities” (since agreeing a minority government on May 6th 2016), attempting to highlight their profiles by “Calling for” or “Welcoming” the crumbs offered by other government Ministers, to each and every other dog in this Irish State.
Co. Tipperary elected representatives from all political parties must now come together under one single umbrella; to find real solutions for our current poorly represented and grossly neglected county.
No more “Celebrity Photographs”, “Calling For the impossible” or “Welcoming the efforts of other Ministerial politicians”; the alternative for failure by these same Tipperary elected representatives in carrying, to fruition, promises made to constituents, must surely come in the form of immediate resignations.
There are others suitably qualified and approachable to represent the Premier County and no shame in you, our elected representative, honestly admitting you are unable to undertake the task of guiding our county through our current financial difficulties.
“He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” – Proverbs 28:27.
During the current year, 2016, we celebrated the one hundred year of our struggle for Irish independence, with at least some €22 million, minimum, in taxpayer funding, spent in various ways, but mainly in the areas, both in and around, Sackville Street, today better known as O’Connell Street; Dublin’s main thoroughfare.
Travelling through Dublin in recent weeks, one could not help but notice the number of homeless people begging and sleeping rough in the streets of this same city. By sleeping rough I mean men and women of all ages sleeping or bedded down in the freezing open air, seeking refuge in filthy doorways, parks and bus shelters; people sleeping in buildings or other places not designed for human habitation e.g. car parks, living what now appears to be the socially acceptable “Plastic Bag” and “Wet Cardboard” lifestyle.
A headcount taken in our Capital’s city centre area recently found 168 people were sleeping rough with this figure not including some 60 people sharing a floor in the Merchant’s Quay Night Cafe and an unknown number of persons bedded down, hidden from immediate sight in the 1752 acres of the Phoenix Park, latter containing ‘Áras an Uachtaráin’, the residence currently occupied by the head of State and President of our ‘Emerald Green Island’.
Now towards the end of 2016, following our 100 year commemorations / celebrations; call them what you will; it would appear our current minority Fine Gael government have failed dismally to adhere to the very ideals of Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins. Where now in 2016 are spoken the words of Collins; quote; “For the future, we must not have the destitution of poverty at one end, and at the other, an excess of riches”?
So also our rapidly diminishing so called Irish Labour Party, which propped up the outgoing Fine Gael government over the previous 5 years. They too, in their greed for power, have overlooked the accurate prophesy in the words spoken by their once executed associate James Connolly, quote: “If you remove the English army tomorrow, unless you set about the organisation of a Socialist Republic, she will still continue to rule you through her Capitalists, through her Landlords, through her Financiers“.
Current statements like “no person will be on the streets unless they want to be” are no longer acceptable from those who were elected to rule over us. When will the practice of allowing those refusing shelter; sleeping on mattresses of wet cardboard; wrapped in discarded plastic bags, cease? I say this in the knowledge of the problems within homeless shelters, due to individuals having complex drink and drug related struggles. Accept it; people lying in doorways do not feel safe in sheltered accommodation, while forced to sleep, wearing footwear on their feet; in the sure and certain knowledge if they do not, their shoes, together with other meagre possessions, will be stolen by morning.
What would it cost our government, (who knowingly amongst other unnecessary spending, used an estimated €27 million of taxpayers money, on a postal code system, namely Eircode, which possibly will never be wholly used), to provide one warm coat, a pair of stout shoes and a one-person tent that can be compressed into a portable bag (See picture above), to a mere couple of hundred rough sleepers at most?
If we see ourselves as Christians, surly it is time to examine and act immediately on the urgent and very basic needs of a few people who, for whatever reason, choose to sleep rough in conditions, (dare I say unfit for an animal), exposing themselves to the current freezing winter conditions, being experienced over recent weeks, on the streets of our cities.
“Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” – St. Luke 12:15
Michael Lowry TD
Five Tipperary towns and villages are to benefit from the ‘Town and Village Renewal Scheme’, same announced some time ago by the Fine Gael TD and Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Having made strong representations to Minister Humphreys on behalf of all applications put forward from Tipperary Co. Council; Michael Lowry TD today welcomed the inclusion of the towns and villages across Tipperary, included as part of this renewal scheme.
Welcoming the funding, the Tipperary Independent TD stated, “This funding awarded to these five towns and villages in Tipperary will be used for a number of different projects, already identified by Tipperary Co. Council and in consultation with local Councillors and active Community Groups. This rural funding will greatly assist in projects such as improving footpaths, public plazas, visual landscaping and the enhancement of tourism amenities”.
As stated; a total of five towns and villages across Tipperary are to benefit, with €380,000 in total having been awarded to the following individual urban areas.
Tipperary Town will get €97,500 for the enhancement of the ‘Centre Plaza Project’ in the town.
Borrisokane will receive €97,500 to be spent on ‘Street and Pavement Enhancement’.
Carrick-on-Suir will benefit to the tune of €47,500 for ‘Landscaping and Development of a Public Plaza’.
Cahir will also receive €97,500 for the enhancement of ‘Public Toilet facilities’.
Templemore will receive €40,000 as part of its ‘Landscape Development Plan’.
This funding, drawn down, will meet up to 85% of the total cost of each of the projects identified.
In welcoming the funding Deputy Lowry stated, “This ‘Renewal Scheme’ funding will play a vital roll in the advancement of identified projects chosen for investment under this overall scheme”.
U.S. Secretary of State Mr John Kerry
Mr John Kirby, Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, with the Bureau of Public Affairs at Washington, DC, has stated that U.S. Secretary of State Mr John Kerry will travel to Tipperary, Ireland, on October 30th, to meet with Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan for a discussion about the Northern Ireland peace process and a range of regional and global issues.
While in Ireland, the Secretary will also accept the Tipperary International Peace Award, which will be awarded by the Tipperary Peace Convention to honour the Secretary’s efforts to end conflicts in a number of countries.
The Secretary will then travel to London, U.K., on October 31st to meet with international counterparts for a discussion about the situation in Libya and ways to improve support for the Government of National Accord. While in London, he will also accept two other awards: the Benjamin Franklin House Medal for Leadership and the Chatham House Prize.
The Chatham House Prize is given to a states-person for significant contributions to the improvement of international relations. Secretary Mr Kerry was named the 2016 recipient jointly with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
The Benjamin Franklin House Medal for Leadership is being given to Secretary Mr Kerry for his lasting contributions to diplomacy, public service and human rights.The Medal recognizes those individuals who follow in Benjamin Franklin’s footsteps by exemplifying great vision, cross-cultural understanding, effectiveness and intellectual rigour.
The Secretary will also meet with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and together with the Mayor, will engage in a discussion with London youth on current issues, including climate change and countering violent extremism.